Connection between Diabetes and Hearing Loss
The connection between diabetes and hearing loss was clear with a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, USA. It revealed that hearing loss is twice as likely in diabetics compared to other people. It is a concern that despite this being known in some measure by doctors, hearing screening of any sort is not the part of diabetes treatment received by people. A majority of these can use a hearing aid to their advantage.
Study on connection between hearing loss and diabetes
The aforesaid study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine was carried out by National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study concluded that the vulnerability of damage in the nerves and blood vessels of a diabetic increase the risk of hearing problems in him.
In the study, data from results of hearing tests was analysed. Over 5000 participants took part in the study. Out of these, 68 per cent were found to suffer from hearing loss. Moreover their hearing loss was in the higher frequencies. Compared to non-diabetics, the diabetics were found to be twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss.
Despite this study not evaluating the causes behind diabetes leading to hearing, the stats should convince everyone that diabetics should worry about their hearing problems. They need to be regularly screened for hearing problems.
Problem of hearing loss in diabetics
The relation between diabetes and vision loss is better known than that between hearing loss and diabetes. Diabetics are likely to live throughout their lives without getting a diagnosis for hearing loss. This is mainly because they are not pressed by doctors or other health authorities.
- The hearing loss due to diabetes is generally of the sensorineural type. In other words, one which is caused by nerve damage. It can be treated by using hearing aids. Like with many other diseases, the hearing problems of diabetics can improve with early diagnosis.
- Studies have revealed that if hearing loss is left untreated, it can not only disturb and end hearing, but can also have an adverse impact on your quality of life.
- If this problems leads to central auditory deficits, even the ability to understand spoken language can be affected.
[Read: How to Deal with Hair Loss]
Research is ongoing to understand the full impact of diabetes on the hearing ability of patients. After the specific problems have been identified, treatment strategies can be developed. In the meantime, it is expected that the diabetics would start taking better care of their hearing troubles, as much as they are concerned about their vision problems. The hearing loss in diabetics may not be as trivialised a problem as it is made to look.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Aug 01, 2012
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